Posted in information, projects, updates

Some Interesting News


Hey guys,
Hey guys,
Steve here.

Several of you don’t know this, but a few years ago I used to have this podcast going. It was very informal, and not too well put together – I had a podcast feed, and a page, and I think a feedback form but that’s about it. The topic of the podcast, as well as its schedule, changed quite often. I eventually stopped doing that podcast, because I got burnt out on it. I also think I was younger, busier, less sure, etc, so I never really planned episodes and ended up making commitments I couldn’t really keep up with.
However, I am trying the podcast thing again. Over these last couple years, I’ve been watching lets plays of games on Youtube, and listening to fellow more professional blind peoples’ streams. While I will not pretend to be professional, (I want a laid back and chill but still somewhat structured cast), I will have it a lot more put together than its predecessor.
The first Episode will be on November 1. I will attempt to do an audio stream of it, combined with a live chat room, but this may or may not be possible. If not, I’ll still record and post it as normal.
I invite you to visit the podcast page, linked below. There I have posted the description of the podcast/my goal with it, as well as a “next planned episode” section which will detail what I will be doing in the next episode and when it will be created. There is also a feedback form which I encourage anyone interested in the podcast to use to suggest, comment, criticize, or just chat about an episode or the podcast in general. I intend this podcast to be as listener-driven and communicative as it is controlled by me. My listeners are what will keep this thing going, so I believe they deserve excellent treatment. I can say I do all the work but in truth, it’ll be you guys taking 30 minutes or more out of your day to listen and interact with the cast that’ll keep it going for real.
Finally, you guys who read the blog know I never ask for money on this site. I blog because I love to blog (okay I’ve been slipping, but still). I don’t believe that the content I put here, stories or otherwise, is worth asking that people fork over money to view it. However, I have added a donate button to the podcast page. Whatever is paid here will go to the cost of this site or the streaming server, or will give me, a college student, less of a likelihood to see a two-digit bank balance. My policy still stands though: I don’t expect to be paid or donated to. If I did, the button would be to buy episodes, not to voluntarily donate. This podcast is not money driven – so while I’ll mention the donate button briefly to remind people of its existence once or twice in an episode, I will not pressure anyone to use it. You donate to me if you feel like it, found the blog or a podcast good enough to warrant it, think I deserve it, whatever. If you don’t though, we’re still cool. You’re no less of a person. 🙂
That out of the way, This is the podcast page. I’m optimistic about this podcast, and generally just can’t wait to chat with people and have fun!
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.
Ps. Life related blog post in a few days.

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Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, information, journal, life, programming, projects, updates

Return to Normalcy


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I really need to stop doing this. Over the last 50 days or however long it has been, this blog acquired 10 new followers. I’m guessing they followed me in hopes that they’d see future posts from me, which I have not done a good job of producing.

I remember a time when I’d blog every 4 to 10 days, because I didn’t try to stick to a certain topic. Recently, though, I’ve found myself unintentionally gearing towards one subject, game development. While I enjoy game development, quite fervently might I add, it was not my intention for this blog to become solely based on that. This does not
mean the end of my technical rants and detailed game idea postings; those will still occur, but it’s time
this blog return to the way it was before, when I didn’t attempt to bind myself to one particular
subject.

Because it’s been so long since my last post, I have a lot to say, but I’ll try to separate it into
multiple posts so I’m not talking about five different things in one. But as a general, perhaps five word
summary, the last month and 1/whatever was good… well… great.

My seventeenth birthday has already passed. Unfortunately, due to my attempt at binding myself
to one blogging subject, I didn’t post anything then; and when I don’t post something on such a grand
holiday, you know something’s not right. That said, it was one of the greatest birthdays I’ve had. I
didn’t have a party, but I will say this. The people I spent it with made it better for me than any party
idea I could’ve come up with myself, and to be honest I didn’t want one.

Aside from that, there hasn’t been much going on worth mentioning. This Friday, though, I am
traveling out of state for a goal ball tournament for the first time, something I’m both excited and
nervous about. I am not traveling with a specific team; I’m not sure whether or not I’ve been assigned
one. But here in Texas, our goal ball practices are small, so we don’t have a fully developed team of
men. I guess this one is going to be quite an adventure though.

In other news, I’ve been alternating in between my 3 projects. I actually did pull out Matt the Terrorist’s source code again, making some significant changes which I’ll discuss in a later post. I’ve also been working on Breakout, and at the moment I’m attempting to integrate a bonus level which requires the user to control multiple balls at once. I’ll let you all know how that turns out in the next post as well. But for now, I’m wrapping it up. I’ll be back after
the tournament.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, information, journal, life, programming, projects, updates

Rewrites and an Audio Demo


Hey guys,
Steve here.

There I go again, with the whole not blogging for over a month thing. The problem is, I have been wanting to blog for at least the last week and a half… but then again it might be better that I waited this long to because some important things have happened recently that I would prefer to have gone in this post.

As I’m sure you could tell by the steady decline of enthusiasm I displayed towards S Quad Racing, and the increasing lack of work being done on it, I was definitely becoming unhappy with it. Since I’d started working on it so early, I didn’t know much about the language I started coding it in, causing me to do numerous things the wrong way, something I wouldn’t find out until the game really started taking off. By November, when I was trying to really ramp up the features, I realized that my code was pretty much just patched together, close-ended, buggy, and virtually unusable.

So, the last week of Christmas break, I finally decided to rewrite the entire game. There were still parts I copied from the old version, such as ambiance, playlist, checkpoint, and obstacle support, but everything else was completely scrapped.

After just a week of coding, I had a fully functional game. And when I gave it to my testing team, the bugs they found were only minor, easy to fix ones that usually resulted from forgotten or wrongly written lines of code. I’ve spent the last week fixing those, leaving only some minor bugs I just found out today. But thankfully, those that are occurring now are not the irreparable ones found in the old version, as I am more able to fix them now that I have a workable code base.

In other news, S Quad Racing is not the only project receiving a rewrite. Matt the Terrorist’s engine is receiving a rewrite as well, going from a 2d side scrolling game to 3d. The code base for this was not mangled like the old S Quad Racing, however it didn’t really have much in the way of flexibility, I.E. Implementing 3d support into it would have been next to impossible due to the y coordinate being used for up and down movement among other things.

Plus, since this game is not completely user friendly due to the keyboard layout, –we have keys for movement for forward, backward, left, right, up, and down, there are two keys (one for the left arm and one for the right), plus whatever keys will need to be added in future, I thought to add a keyboard configuration option. The way the keys will work in this new version are w a s and d for directional movement, r and f for up and down, (climbing ladders and controlling your jet pack), left and right shift being held down for the respective arms, enter to throw items, i to deposit them into inventory, and space to place. However, due to the complaints that will likely come about due to this rather odd key configuration, I’m working on a way for all aforementioned keys to be customized.

Aside from that, I’m really interested to see how three dimensional building will turn out in an audio only game. I don’t suspect it will be different from other audio games in terms of navigation, but we’ll just have to see, since the player will actually be constructing 3d structures without being able to feel or have them described to them.

That concludes tonight’s post, mostly anyway. Since I promised audio demos, I’ll provide this one for S Quad Racing since the Matt the Terrorist engine test is not in much of a playable state at the moment. Enjoy.

Play

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in busy, gaming and technology, information, journal, programming, projects, updates

Another Small Release and a Few Updates


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I said I’d have a surprise for you all, and that was not an empty promise.
Over the last week, I’ve been sporadically coding on a little game, one which is similar to the classic Pong, but with quite a few twists. And not only did I create this game, but I included the source code, which is heavily commented, so that anyone interested could have a look at how games are actually coded in Pure Basic.
Similar to flamity flame, you are placed upon a side scrolling grid that is twenty squares wide. Your goal in this game, however, is to run after the ball and hit it to prevent it from hitting the ground.
To accomplish this task, you are given a paddle, which you will swing once you are beneath the ball and it is low enough to hit because, after all, you can only reach so far.
Since the ball can go just about anywhere when you hit it, it is impossible to develop much of a strategy. Plus, the game gets difficult, rather quickly. So quickly, in fact, that the likelihood of you lasting over two minutes is nearly zero.
Fortunately, though, there is help. Firstly, you don’t really have to worry about centering yourself exactly beneath the ball; you will hear a beep when you are centered. Secondly, there are platforms. If you are not near the ball when it is coming down, and it happens to be above a platform, it will bounce off of it rather than making the journey to the ground.
Initially, you start out with three platforms, spaced out evenly in intervals of five. However, as you play, additional platforms will spawn, though considering the level of difficulty in the game it’s likely you’ll only get one, if any, platform spawns before the end of the game.
While the fact that more platforms will spawn might enspire you to work your hardest, there is one thing to bear in mind about platforms–they are not the nutral, happy-to-help objects you might think of them to be. When the ball bounces off of a platform, it will rebound faster, and you must work a lot faster to get to, and hit the ball. This affect is called catapult, and only lasts 3 to 10 seconds after the ball bounces off of a platform. So while it is true that platforms can be a life saver, you might want to avoid letting the ball hit them as much as possible, otherwise you’re going to lose more than you gain.
Well, if you’re interested, you can Click here to download it.
Also, I have recorded an audio demonstration, which you can listen to below.

There are a few things I might change, such as how quickly the game gets hard, and the interval between platform spawns.

In other news, I haven’t worked much on S Quad racing, in fact I’ll confess I didn’t work on it at all this week. I was mainly focused on coding the game released in this post, which I named “Bouncy Ball” because I was too bored to name it anything else, to code something as complex as S Quad Racing. I probably won’t open it up tonight either, as I’m rather tired, but hopefully tomorroww I’ll get back to work. I think that before I implement dynamic weather, ambiance, and cheering into the creation of tracks, I’ll go ahead and see what I can do about implementing gears, as that is a task that I’ve put off for several weeks now but needs to be done.

Well, that’s about all I have to report. I’ll blog again later this week. As far as pod casting goes, I’m not quite sure. I want to do an episode tomorrow, but we all know me. So who actually knows–but hopefully tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, gaming and technology, happyness, information, journal, life, projects, updates

An Audio Editing Experiment and Some Updates


Hey guys,
Steve here.

I know it’s been a bit longer than ten days since my last post to this blog, and I’m sorry about that. Fortunately, this period of extended silence has not been counterproductive.
First of all, I generated an audio file. This was originally supposed to be an oscillation of about fifty different sound waves going up and down the frequency scale–an attempt to annoy people. However, after some heavy editing, and by that I mean using eighty percent of the audio affects in audacity, I was able to turn it into… a “Sci-phi frequency storm gone bad!”

I’ll admit it’s a bit annoying, but it’s one of the most captivating things you’ll ever listen to! That is, if you actually listen to it.

Moving on, after all that work I did on S Quad racing last week, I mostly fixed the winning system. It is now possible to win races and lose them respectively, that is, if you only race with one opponent. Even though I haven’t figured out why the game won’t work properly with multiple opponents, I will be releasing an audio demo by Wednesday that demonstrates a fully working race!

Also on the subject of gaming, I returned to the swamp universe last week, though I haven’t been quite as addicted as I was in the past. Don’t get me wrong, Swamp is still by far the best game I’ve ever played, but I for one don’t want to end up having to renew my account at the same time I pay for the website, and not to mention I have a game to code.
By the way, speaking of games to code, I might just have a small surprise in the works. This is far less substantial than S Quad Racing, but, judging by your reactions to Flamity Flame, it has the potential to get quite a few of you hooked for several minutes, or even hours, perhaps. Stay tuned!

That concludes the posting for tonight. Stay tuned for updates and/or releases on that “secret surprise,” and be looking out for the next podcast episode, which might just be my demonstration of Psycho Strike, the new Grand Theft Auto-like rpg from VG Storm and Blastbay Studios.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, gaming and technology, happyness, information, journal, life, programming, projects, updates

A Great Week of Bringing Poems to Life and Other Things


Hey guys,
Steve here.

You’re not going to believe this! It turns out that “Flamity Flame the Lame Audio Game,” the poem I wrote and published on last Wednesday’s blog post, has become…exactly what it talks about–an audio game!
Though I’ve indeed brought this game to reality, it is a twisted one; the audio game is not exactly as it was depicted in the poem. Nonetheless, I tried to structure it around most of the rules outlined therein, so that the result was mostly as expected: You are placed on a game board, James is there as well, he does not make a sound, and you must kill him.
However, I strayed a bit from the main idea. James is able to shoot back, if you give him time to anyway. When you square up with him, he is raising up his gun, and you’d better fire like crazy before he has time to. However, if you’re too slow to fire enough shots to take him down, as is likely to be the case, it will be necessary to step to the left or right one time to get out of the line of fire, and take a small 5 second break or so, before moving back to where James is and proceeding to blast him to oblivion. This system helps to test one’s quick thinking and reflexive skills, while also laying the foundations for an action packed, quick paced arcade style shooter game, something that was definitely not described in the poem.
Secondly, rather than killing James once, there are five levels; James has five lives; four less than your average cat, four greater than your average James. In each of these unfortunate, short lives, James’s is more angry than in previous ones. Proceeding the burning out of one of James’s lives, you will advance a level, and hear a threat. As you achieve higher levels, you will notice that these comments grow more angry and bloodthirsty. This is only the precursor to a level filled with faster shots from James that could easily slice off a significant chunk of health, and result in your quick and almost, and I emphasize almost, painless death.
There is some good news for you, though. Unlike poor old, slow, angry James who cannot actually walk, You can move away from him safely and confide in the fact that he won’t follow. Also, though your health does not reset following the start of a new level, you’ll notice that it takes less shots to kill James in the higher levels; though the main goal in those levels is still to kill James, the underlying goal is to time your attacks so that James doesn’t have time to shoot back, a task that can be quite daunting.
Another perk is that unlike James, the firing time limit on your gun is not directly set in the game; this means that you will be able to fire as fast as you can press the space bar. So while the game gets increasingly challenging, there are several constant factors that place the game mostly in your favor.
For the first time, I actually have a reward for those of you who just read that–a download link! Since Flamity Flame was such a small project, it is already released, and can be Downloaded from this link.
In the package, I’ve included both a documentation, and an audio strategy demo, and I recommend that you have a look at both.

Moving away from Flamity flame, I suppose I’ll include a short update on my life, by that I mean a quick summary, since the previous part of this post went a lot longer than I intended it to.
My birthday went exactly as I thought it would. I overloaded on some great food, relaxed, and went to school, that list of events being in order from most to least important. The only unexpected occurrence, was that I bought a space upgrade for the blog, meaning that instead of having to upload pod casts and such to Drop Box, I can now upload those files to my blog, and have been in the process of doing so. Since I transferred pod casts first, both the feed and page work, though for those of you who are subscribed to the feed you might be asked to download all episodes again.
As for the weekend, there’s not much to say there. My sister and dad were out of town, so it was just me and my mom. I basically spent the weekend relaxing, eating junk food, and then Sunday we were at church all day. Also, I recorded a podcast on Death Match A New Beginning, and had the privilege of having Danny on the podcast over Skype. You should seriously listen to it.

That concludes this quite lengthy post. Enjoy the new little game, and Happy Flaming!

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

Posted in average, busy, funny, happyness, information, journal, life, updates

An Exciting Steve Day Celebration Post!


Hey guys,
Steve here.

Yes, I posted yesterday, and I know that I had decided upon a four to ten day blogging routine at the beginning of the year. However, it has become an unofficial tradition to post a little something on the night of my birthday. I don’t know why, but it’s happened every year. And don’t worry, you’re gonna love this one!

a little poem

I’ve been wanting to share this with you since I first came up with it on Saturday, but didn’t have enough time Yesterday morning to do so. So here it is. Notice the rhythm I use.

I remember the day,
when I dared to play,
an audio game,
that was very lame.
The audio game,
that was very lame,
that I dared to play,
had a stupid name.

The name of the game,
was Flamity Flame,
and Flamity Flame,
was such a horrible game.
Because in Flamity Flame,
The goal of the game,
was to attempt to kill,
a man known as James.

Now what made this game,
so very lame,
Is the fact that James,
had no sound at which to Aim.
And what kind of game,
that is audio by claim,
has a guy named James,
at whom you cannot Aim?

So to this day,
I don’t know who to blame,
but all I can say,
they made a terrible game!

a declaration of independence rendition for the blind

Note: this is a project my sister had to do for English class.
Also note: source of the end of it: the actual declaration. I put this so we don’t run into copyright issues. Again, the end of this declaration was copied from the origional.

There comes a time in every person’s life when one realizes that they
were not in fact made “perfect”; As we age we learn that we have to
figure this world out on our own. This is not to say that God is not
there to guide us, but we are limited by our fears and lack of
knowledge. And the situation is exacerbated when one has a disability.
One is forced to shape their life around their disability. They are
forced to live by different standards than the “normal” ones. And
while we learn to manage, there are still the harsh realities that
those with disabilities must face, that those without a disability do
not. To narrow it down, the blind are forced to learn to cope, and
navigate the world.
In reality, the blind are, at times, viewed as less than the
sighted. And because of this, certain rights are taken from us. The
right to be seen and not immediately judged, the right to be
considered “normal”, and the right to be treated with respect are only
a few of the rights taken away from us. On top of the rights denied to
us, we also face many struggles that could be easily resolved if only
the sighted tried.
Firstly, architects do not take the needs of the blind into
consideration. We are forced to navigate around poles and columns,
that not only confuse us, but are a serious hazard.
Secondly, Any sighted person with a knack for decorating, that seems
to believe that fake plants and glass vases and figurines make nice
decor, have no respect or consideration for the people who are not
able to see and therefor find these needless decorations as dangerous
and as an irritant.
And thirdly, manufacturers who do not braille their products, as most
manufacturers fail to do, have absolutely no respect for the blind,
and are only losing customers. If a blind person cannot read the
labels on a product, we will not buy it.
There is room for improvement in all of these matters. For centuries
we have fought for the rights and accommodations that we deserve, and
that the sighted have. And for centuries, these pleas have been
ignored, or viewed as unimportant. And, here, we are once again asking
the sighted community to simply take a step back and take us into
consideration. We have made compromises, and we have relented to
letting them get away with ignoring our natural rights as humans. Yet,
they have been deaf to our struggles and needs. We must, therefor,
continue to fight for what should already be ours. We will be heard.
We will not let this world turn against the blind community. We,
therefore, the Representatives of the blind community, Assembled,
appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our
intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of
the blind populace, solemnly publish and declare, us, as, human
beings, are, and of Right ought to be respected and taken into
consideration; that we are Absolved from all unjust acts committed by
the sighted; and that as a respected and valued people, we are granted
the same rights and luxuries as the sighted; And for the support of
this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes
and our sacred Honor.

Finally, a good old set of updates!

My birthday was definitely great, despite it being a school day. I had plenty to eat, and an overall good day. There were even a few funny incidents:
So I was eating M&MS in Spanish class, because I was like “it’s my birthday so I’m gonna eat these, because the teacher won’t get on to me for it.” Anyways, someone saw me eating them, and asked for one.
“What do you say?” I asked them.
“May I please, have some M&MS?”
“no… that’s not right. Happy…”
“Happy birthday!”
Of course I gave her some, and then I guess more people in the class saw and heard that because the whole class started singing to me! Lol! And the bad thing is,
Oh yes the bad bad thing,
I only gave them to like 4 people. 😀

In all seriousness, though, I did have a wonderful blessed day. I hope you all did as well! Also, I got a space upgrade for the website, meaning no more Drop Box imposed space limits–We won’t have to deal with them for a long time! Currently, I’m in the process of transfering all files from dropbox to wordpress. I will let you know when I finish that.

a few notes

  • just in case you wanted to know, the last person I talked to before I turned 16 (3:01 PM) was god. The first people I talked to as a 16 year old were those on my facebook friends list!
  • My birthday falls on National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! No, that’s not why I came up with Steve Eve and Steve Day, that was purely coincidental, which is why I’m telling you this in the first place.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope you all have a wonderful blessed day, and weekend. Come on, it’s my birthday! Just grant this wish for me!
Oh yes, and also, just this once, I ask that if you like this post, please follow my blog and share this to your social media. Also please hit the like button on this post. And be sure to tell all your friends and family about Steve Eve and Steve Day so they will be ready for it next year!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve, the man who made the awesome Steve Day and Steve Eve holidays happen!